Releasing spectrum without problems | ATDI

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Releasing spectrum without problems

Releasing spectrum without problems

Releasing spectrum without problems

The battle to squeeze the radio spectrum until it hertz continues and ATDI is at the forefront of helping public bodies fulfill their government-imposed duty to release all frequencies they can manage without.

Public bodies hold spectrum for good reasons – ranging from matters of national security to the safety of passengers on everything from planes to buses – so identifying which frequencies can be divested to commercial interests requires both strategy and precision in analysis.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in the UK undertook a comprehensive review of the frequencies it uses for radar and looked at whether any could be released without aircraft safety being compromised. Specifically, CAA was tasked with identifying if 100MHz of spectrum could be released from the S-Band radar frequency allocation by the 2020 deadline set by the UK regulator Ofcom.

“The key to completing the political mandate of identifying which frequencies can be divested is to ascertain whether the rest of spectrum held by the organisation can be made to carry out the organisation’s task,” says ATDI technical director Nick Kirkman. “ATDI has built up a bank of expertise in working with all manner of public bodies to make this identification and to verify the spectrum being retained is fit for purpose and will not be affected by interference from new users of the released frequencies.”

The CAA divided the task into three key areas which it designated as: squash, shift, share.
Squash is the possibility to improve the efficiency in the use of spectrum. Shift is the possibility of using alternative bands for radar. Share is the option to share the radar band with other users.

CAA portrays its feasibility study as an investigation into the possible. The organisation sought to understand what adjustments could be made and the potential for interference in each scenario. CAA believes that modelling coexistence in this manner bridges the gap between the technical radar performance and the impact on the end user. CAA has been using ATDI planning and modelling tools, notably ICS telecom, in this process, and has been relying on expertise from ATDI experts to help it complete its analyses.

“The study remains a work in progress,” Nick notes. “What has been established so far is the need to finish defining rules for planning to confirm parameters and determine when interference becomes unacceptable.”

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